President Clinton announced on 1 October that he will veto the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1999 (S1287) if the bill is passed by Congress. Citing the accident at Tokai Mura as a reminder of the need for safe handling of radioactive materials, Clinton said the Senate bill would not adequately protect public health and safety.
The act is aimed at providing the US Department of Energy with the tools to complete the Yucca Mountain repository for spent fuel and high level waste. To overcome White House objections, it would not authorise construction of an above-ground interim storage facility adjacent to Yucca Mountain until after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves construction of a permanent repository there.
Clinton objected to a provision allowing the NRC, rather than the US Environmental Protection Agency, to set radiation standards .